President Biden announces key nominees

WASHINGTON – Today, President Biden announced his intention to appoint the following individuals to serve as key leaders in his administration:

  • Cindy Dyer, candidate for the position of Director of the Office of Monitoring and Combating Trafficking, with the rank of Goodwill Ambassador
  • Michael Gonzales, candidate for the post of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Zambia
  • Michael Ratney, candidate for the post of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Geoffrey Pyatt, candidate for Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources

Cindy Dyer, candidate for the position of Director of the Office of Monitoring and Combating Trafficking, with the rank of Goodwill Ambassador

Cindy Dyer is a human rights expert and lawyer with over 25 years of experience working locally, nationally and internationally to address human rights abuses with a focus on trafficking human beings, gender-based violence (GBV) and harmful practices. She recently served on the Independent Review Board on Sexual Assault in the Military and is currently a Senior Advisor and Highly Qualified Expert (HQE) at the US Department of Defense. For 12 years, she served as Vice President for Human Rights at Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO promoting women’s leadership. Prior to joining Vital Voices, she held a presidential position as Director of the Bureau on Violence Against Women at the United States Department of Justice. She began her career at the grassroots level, working as a domestic and sexual abuse prosecutor in Dallas, Texas for over 13 years.

Dyer received the Equal Justice Award from North Texas Legal Services and the Prosecutor of the Year Award from the Greater Dallas Crime Commission. Dyer received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M and his JD from Baylor Law School.

Michael Gonzales, candidate for the post of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Zambia

Michael C. Gonzales is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Minister-Counsellor class. He is currently Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs at the US State Department. Prior to this assignment, Gonzales was Director of Africa Analysis at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Abroad, he has held senior positions as Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal and the United States Embassy in Lilongwe, Malawi; and as political and economic adviser to the U.S. embassies in Harare, Zimbabwe and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Among other assignments, Gonzales has served as spokesperson and information officer at the US Embassy in Addis Ababa; head of the Ethiopian desk at the State Department; and Assistant Public Affairs Officer for the United States Embassy in Kampala, Uganda.

Gonzales holds a BA from Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA and an MA from the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC. He speaks Spanish and French.

Michael Ratney, candidate for the post of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Michael Alan Ratney, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of minister-counsellor, is the acting deputy director of the Foreign Service Institute at the United States Department of State. He recently served as acting Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Previously, Ratney was Dean of the School of Language Studies at the Foreign Service Institute. Prior to that, he was on the faculty of the National Defense University. He served as the State Department’s Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Levant and Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, and served as the United States Special Envoy for Syria. Previously, Ratney served as the United States Consul General in Jerusalem. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Media in the State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs. Previously, he served as spokesman for the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Other assignments include serving as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Doha, Qatar, as well as tours in Mexico City, Baghdad, Beirut, Casablanca, Bridgetown, and Washington, D.C.

Ratney received a BS from Boston University and an MA from George Washington University. He is the recipient of several State Department performance awards, including a Presidential Meritorious Service Award. He speaks Arabic and French.

Geoffrey Pyatt, candidate for Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources

Geoffrey R. Pyatt, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, career minister class, is currently the United States Ambassador to Greece, a position he has held since 2016. Prior to that, Pyatt served as United States Ambassador to Ukraine, and he was a senior deputy. Assistant Secretary of State in the Office of South and Central Asian Affairs. Previously, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency and International Organizations in Vienna, Austria. He also served at the United States Embassy in New Delhi, India as Deputy Chief of Mission and Political Advisor. Pyatt served as Economic Officer at the United States Consulate General in Hong Kong and Principal Officer at the United States Consulate General in Lahore, Pakistan. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1989, Pyatt has also served as Director for Latin America in the National Security Council, Special Assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary of State, Office of Inter-American Affairs, and Embassy the United States. in New Delhi, India and at the United States Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Pyatt has received numerous performance awards, including a Presidential Distinguished Honor Award. He received a BA from the University of California at Irvine and an MA from Yale University. Originally from California, he speaks Spanish.

###